Below are our thoughts from this end of the world:
It depends on the context in which we use terms for "people involved" in an incident. We are not sure a specific label is needed, other than what the person (he/she) is normally called at the lab, such as chemist, lab technician, postdoc, principal investigator, project manager, janitor, SME, etc. We don't think it's necessary to label people according to their involvement in an incident. They're not victims, perpetrators or even participants who should be branded. Incidents can happen to anyone and people should be known by their normal title. If we need to make general statements, we can use words like "staff member," or "employee" or simply "person." For anyone who was not involved but at the scene, we could say "nearby staff member," or "technician in the next lab," etc. We avoid using the terms "bystander" or "onlooker."
Hope this helps ... Mikhail
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Ralph B. Stuart
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 5:32 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Help with terminology
As part of our incident review process, we are developing a "lessons learned" review process designed to encapsulate key points of either prevention or response to lab incidents that may apply in other laboratory settings on campus. An ongoing challenge I've faced is what to call the person who is more directly involved in the incident. Sometimes they are hurt as a consequence of the incident, sometimes not, but calling them the "victim" seems to prejudice the questions we want to ask about the event. Have other people come up with terms to describe the people who are at the scene of an incident and may or may not be involved in the cause of the incident?
Thanks for any help with this.
Ralph Stuart CIH
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Department of Environmental Health and Safety Cornell University
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